Along with receiving two new and prestigious awards, Chestnut Hill College was recently named as one of the “Top 10 Colleges in Philadelphia.”
In June, College Magazine included the school on its list of “Top 10 Colleges in Philadelphia,” citing numerous reasons why it deserved such recognition. As well as its extracurricular events, close-knit community, scenic campus, security department and proximity to downtown Philadelphia, writer Zoë Knafelc said the education the College offers—in particular its education program—makes it an alluring choice for students.
“Besides the magical aura, Chestnut Hill [College] takes pride in their phenomenal education program,” Knafelc wrote. “This program helps future teachers gain knowledge and aspects for their career paths, which definitely sets it apart from other schools.”
Following that announcement, the College learned it had acquired more honors still.
For the first time, the College’s School of Graduate Studies and its School of Continuing and Professional Studies were both named as Colleges of Distinction. The College was also named for the second year in a row as a national College of Distinction for its School of Undergraduate Studies.
Furthermore, it also earned national recognition when it was designated as both a Catholic and a Pennsylvania College of Distinction, two honors it received last year as well.
“I am gratified that Colleges of Distinction offers our prospective students and their parents the opportunity to preview quantifiable data about Chestnut Hill College that makes us an excellent college choice,” said College President Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D. “When you spend four years in college, it’s imperative that you like the campus atmosphere, the students, your chosen path of study, the faculty and the opportunities the college has to offer─all necessary components to have a successful college experience.”
All three schools at the College received the recognition for instilling “the values of academic excellence, ethical living and care for their community and the Earth they inhabit.”
Founded in 1924 by the Sisters of Saint Joseph, Chestnut Hill College is a private, Catholic institution that offers students a diverse and spirited liberal arts education, with particular emphasis on the humanities and social and natural sciences. Students can earn a bachelor’s degree in 35 majors, a master’s degree in six fields and a doctorate degree in clinical psychology. Two new undergraduate majors were recently added to the curriculum, too─cybersecurity and health sciences. The former was established with a grant from the National Science Foundation; cybersecurity experts, from both the government and the industry, aided the development of the program.
For athletics, the College offers 17 NCAA Division II sports, including tennis, soccer, baseball and basketball. It also has a sprint football team, which is a member of the Collegiate Sprint Football League. The sport follows traditional college football rules, with one exception─athletes must weigh 178 lbs. or less.
The campus, located at 9601 Germantown Ave. in Philadelphia, is surrounded by acres of green space and situated next to the Wissahickon Creek. The buildings are built in the Romanesque, French Gothic and Greco-Roman architectural styles. Deemed historically significant, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The College now joins a short, intimate list of nationally-recognized schools─some of which are local, such as Villanova University and Drexel University─that are distinguished as much by their curriculum as by their dedication to providing students with innovating opportunities that extend beyond the classroom.
“Colleges of Distinction applauds Chestnut Hill College for pushing the envelope with its up-to-date curriculum, enriching the college experience with high-impact educational practices and providing every student with an education that stretches far beyond what’s typically required from an academic major,” said Tyson Schritter, chief operating officer for Colleges of Distinction, which was responsible for presenting the College with its numerous accolades.
Established in 2000, Colleges of Distinction (CoD) publishes an annual guidebook dedicated to helping students find a college best suited to their own individual needs. It is a resource-rich tool used not only by students but by high school guidance counselors and parents who want the best future for his or her student or child.
Schools are named as a College of Distinction if they have demonstrated a longstanding competence and expertise in four areas: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes. CoD also selects colleges and universities based on what it calls “High-Impact Practices.” Based on research, these are programs that offer students hands-on educational experiences that build or expand upon academic majors.
CoD’s evaluation process differs from other publications that rank colleges and universities each year. Whereas most of those publications rely heavily on certain statistics like historical reputation, athletic prowess and acceptance rates, CoD instead undertakes an intensive process that involves data-driven research and one-on-one interviews, conducted on each campus with anyone from a student to a faculty member to a college executive. The Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, among others, has researched the methodology employed by CoD and voiced its support for the manner in which it is carried out.
“These schools have been carefully selected as distinguished institutions,” CoD stated on its website, “measured by the experiences students come away with and the memories they can create as they invest in their futures, so students can choose not only the ‘best college’, but the right college.”
That Chestnut Hill College continues adding merits to its abundance of awards and recognitions elucidates why and how it has remained an elite institution for almost a century. Incoming students, be it undergraduate freshmen or first-year graduate students, can rest assured knowing the College has their best futures in mind and at heart.
“Becoming a College of Distinction, like Chestnut Hill,” Schritter said, “is proof that the institutions we select are fully invested in their students’ success, beginning on day one, and continuing through the rest of their lives.”
For more information, visit www.chc.edu, www.collegemagazine.com/top-10-colleges-in-philadelphia/, and www.collegesofdistinction.com/school/chestnut-hill-college/#overview.